Before I go on vacation I get on the Internet and do some research about possible locations that I can visit that will give me an opportunity to see some cool nature. This was the case on our last trip down to south Florida in late October. Florida is abundant with nature hot spots so I had every day pretty well planned. On the day we arrived hurricane the remnants of hurricane Sandy were still affecting the weather on Florida's east coast. The skies over Orlando, where we flew in, were very overcast and not good for photography so we headed to the south down to the west coast where we were staying for the first few days. After a short stop at the Venice Rookery, which was pretty fruitless since it was not quite late enough in the year, we headed down to Sanibel Island where we were staying.
On our way to our hotel we came across a sign for the Charlotte Flatwoods Environmental park. Since we were a little ahead of schedule I decided to make a quick stop to check things out. We only had about an hour, before we had to continue south, which was not even close to enough time to check out the 487 acres of mature pine flatwoods, hydric pine fatwoods, marsh wetlands, ponds and dry prairie. We did see several species of birds, butterflies, dragonflies and bees during our short stay. The most exciting thing for me was the ornate pennant. I have photographed calico and Halloween pennants but the ornate pennant was a species that I had never seen before. The ornate pennant, which used to be called the faded pennant, is found along the east coast from New Jersey south to the tip of Florida and along the Gulf Coast west to east Texas.